“The Fatal Four” is also known as OSHA’s “Focus Four”; these are the four areas that are responsible for most construction worker deaths. The fatal four are:
Struck by Object
These four common workplace accidents were responsible for 56% of construction worker deaths in 2012, according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). The BLS also shows that 19% (or 775) of all worker deaths in 2012 happened in the construction industry. Falls were responsible for 278 or 36% of those deaths, struck by object 78 or 10%, electrocutions 66 or 9% and caught-in/between 13 or 2%.
In response to the fatal four OSHA developed the OSHA Focus Four Hazards as part of the OSHA Outreach Construction training. The OSHA 10 and 30-hour Construction outreach safety programs have carved out curriculum that addresses each of the fatal four hazards. In the OSHA 10-hour Construction training it is mandatory to spend four hours total on the OSHA Focus Four Hazards. The OSHA 30-hour Construction training has a six hour minimum on the curriculum.
Massachusetts has also made it a requirement that all workers on public construction projects of $10,000 or more have an OSHA 10-hour construction card. However, despite the effort that has been made to educate workers on the fatal four hazards, the same four show up seven times in the top ten most frequently violated OSHA safety regulations in 2013.
As the busy construction season picks up we will be incorporating the fatal four hazards in our weekly tool box talks. Now is the time to address these hazards with your staff before major construction projects get underway.